Summer 2004 unit

The summer 2004 Senegal SST unit has returned, but we'll leave the photos and stories here.

Fri, 2 Apr 2004

Samuel Zadi to lead SST group in Senegal

Assistant Professor Samuel Zadi and his wife Noka will be leading the Summer 2004 SST group in Senegal.

This is the first time that an SST group will go to Senegal. However, Prof. Zadi co-lead a previous group in another west African country, Ivory Coast, in 2002.

Fri, 30 Apr 2004

They're here!

They are here! Our 21 students arrived tonight in Senegal, Dakar all happy and excited. They were welcomed by us: faculty leaders Samuel and Noka Zadi, and Alain Badiane and Serigne N'Diaye, local Assistants.

We got on two vans and headed for the guesthouse were they will spend their first night. Water and sandwiches were served, and a prayer of gratitude said to God.

It's late, but they still seem to have a lot of energy--breaking into groups of three and four to play cards or chat. Tomorrow (Friday), we'll have the first orientation, and they will meet their families in the afternoon at 3pm.

Orientation and meeting with families

First picture: Friday May 30 was the first day of orientation: syllabus, pratical tips to smooth their way around Dakar, explantion of the city map, and explanation of family situation. Local Coordinator Alain Badiane is helping Josh Ewert, Lyndsay Nance and rachel Yantzi locate their homes on the neighbourhood map.

Second picture: At 3 pm, hostfamilies came to the Centre Socio-Culturel du Sacre-Coeur to meet and take their new "daughters" and "sons" home. Sareen Lambright and Rachel Brice are enjoying some bissap and allocos right next to Sareen's mother.

Third picture: Time to go home; Jennifer Koch is leaving with her "mother."

Fourth picture: Anne Penner, Josh Ewert and Alburn Binkley going home with their families.

Fifth picture: Lyndsay Nance with her "mother," and Alex Miller with his "brother," all heading for home.

Wed, 5 May 2004


Our first lecture was on "Senegalese Family Structure." Mme. Aida (pictured with Noka Zadi) talked about the extended Senegalese family and the norms that exist within them.

This is a topic that students have been experiencing first hand. Karla is pictured with her host mother, Mme Marie-Madeleine Nkelle. The remaining pictures are from a lunch at Alex' home where his mother served us a delicious tiepou diene.

French classes

Back to school. Students during French class with Professors Pierre Ezoua and Germain Kabou, and relaxing in the courtyard

Sun, 9 May 2004

Ethnicity, drumming and painting

Thursday we had a lecture on "Ethnic Groups in Senegal." Our lecturer was Professor Ibrahima Seck from the Universite Cheick Anta Diop of Dakar.

Following the lecture on "Ethnic Groups..." students learned drumming. Drumming teachers helped GC students play the traditional Jembe. By the end of the afternoon, students were able to play two traditional parts.

Nick has become friends with Samba Diallo, one of Senegal's most famous painters. Nick has spent time painting and chatting with him and his apprentices. Here, Nick is holding a painting that he made at their workshop.

Mon, 17 May 2004

Visit to Saint-Louis

On Friday the 14th, we left our classes and lectures to visit the colonial town of Saint-Louis, the first capital town in West Africa during French colonization.

On our way to Saint-Louis, we visited the "Pink Lake" of Thies (second picture), which occasionally Every year, people take 24,000 tons of salt out of the lake, and the white dunes seen at the left of the picture are dunes of salt.

We also visited the national park of birds (Djouj park), taking a canoe (third picture) out to see some of the birds.

The fourth picture shows a view of the town of Saint-Louis.

Beach near Saint-Louis

We also spent some time on the beach relaxing. On Saturday evening a traditional band organized a bonfire at the beach with traditional dance and singing, and GC students joined in.

Sat, 12 Jun 2004

Weekend in Samba Dia

We went to spend a weekend in Samba Dia, a village four hours South-East of Senegal. When we arrived, the whole village was waiting for us and gave us a warm african welcome. The students watched a traditional wrestling (lutting), then danced with the whole village until 1:30 am. Each student was hosted by a family. The weekend in the village was an opportunity for students to experience the rural side of the Senegalese life.

Activities in Samba Dia

During our weekend in the village of Samba Dia, students partipated in two traditional activities. The first one was the traditional lutting (wrestling). This is very popular, non-violent sport in Senegal in which one person tries to make another fall. Traditionally, the winner gets a cow. Two GC students joined in the lutting.

The second activity in which students participated was the M'Blax traditional. This is a dance that students had already learned and practiced in Dakar.

Baobab tree near Samba Dia

The baobab is a "tree" (technically it's a grass) which grows mostly in the Sahel (the region between forest and the desert which includes Senegal). A baobab can live more that 1000 years. The inside of the tree is empty--this one held 15 Goshen College students at one time.

Some of these trees were used as graves (not the one pictured) for the griots, who belong to the cast of musicians, poets and historians in traditional Senegalese society. Baobabs are no longer used as graves for griots.

Sun, 13 Jun 2004

Service at the Zadis' house

Every Wednesday, students take a break from lectures and French classes to meet at the Zadi house where we have a worship service and discussions. The service includes hymns and French songs, Bible study, and prayers. After a break we start discussions. Discussion topics are usually related to recent lectures, field trips, or life in Senegal. At noon, we all have lunch.

Family pictures

Snapshots of students with their host families.

Students learn Batik painting (part 5)

The final product. Students proudly exhibited their work.

Mon, 14 Jun 2004

Students learn batik painting (part 4)

Students put wax on the material for the second color, then dyed it again.

Students learn batik painting (part 3)

Lunch break during the batik painting which took a whole day. Students are seen enjoying the traditional tiepou dien with bissap juice.

Students learn batik painting (part 2)

Upon their arrival, each student was given a piece of white cotton. Students first practiced their design on a piece of paper, then drew it on the cloth. Next they applied applied wax on the lines, and dyed the material in a chosen color. After a round of drying, they put wax on other lines, and dyed it again. The process goes on until the final product is ready (see part 5).

Students learn batik painting (part 1)

Students got on a car rapide minibus to get to the batik painting workshop--notice the "American eagle" on the door.

Goree island

Goree island is 25 minutes by boat south east of Dakar. Slaves would have spent as much as a year on the island before before being shipped off to the Americas. More than twenty million slaves over the course of three centuries passed through the island. There were other places (Ghana, and Benin among others) through which captives were sent to the Americas as slaves, but Goree was the most important one because of its strategic geographic location: It is the western-most part of Africa just 4 1/2 hours from the Brazilian coast.

There were no hospitals for slaves. Sick captives where thrown into the ocean. Skinny captives, including women and children, were fed until they became fat, then sent.

Among the last pictures is the "door of no return" and the canons that protected the island from outsiders.

Goree island is a living museum. 1200 people live there and own houses. But no new construction is allowed and there are no vehicles nor hotels on the island. The three original colors (white, red and yellow) from slave trading days are the only ones allowed. As our guide said, "we want to pass this history on to our children exactly the way it has been."

Lecture on music

Professor Ibrahima Seck came with a band to introduce us to different kinds of Senegalese music, including Wolof, Serere, Mandingo, and Pulaar among others. They played drums, the banjo, and the balafon.

Professor Seck went on to explain the influence of this traditional music on American music, such as Jazz, blues, salsa, and reggae. To make the point, the musicians played some Senegalese traditional music and switched to blues and other more familiar kinds of music--sometimes without the students realizing it.

Fri, 18 Jun 2004

For those interested in a little more detail about our schedule, here is some of the syllabus (MS-Word file) for this term in Senegal.

Wed, 23 Jun 2004

Student service assignments
Our students are currently in different towns and villages throughout the country for service.

Becca, Sareen, Lindsay, Rachel, and Kyle are all in the town of Kaolack, three hours south-east of Dakar. They are working for a women's organization named APROFES (Association pour la PROmotion de la FEmme Senegalaise) which runs a credit union, educational and literacy programs for women, as well as initiatives for local youth including AIDS education, arts, and entertainment.

Katie, Sarah, and Alburn are in Thies, about 90 minutes east of Dakar working for a Christian organization called MIS (Missions Inter-Senegalaise). Katie works in the accounting department. Alburn works in the computer department, helping set up a power point presentations, and helping with other computer related needs, and Sarah works with the medical team going to surrounding villages with a mobile clinic.

Miriam is also in Thies, working for the Centre Emmanuel, a non-governmental organization. The center offers computer training classes for people who qre computer illiterate.

Jennifer and Rachel are in Samba Dia (which the group visited), about three hours south of Dakar. Jenn and Rachel are both working at the village clinic.

Marcos and Josh are both in the small town of Diourbel, about three hours east of Dakar. They are working for World Vision in different rural development projects.

Tara and Karla are in Bambey, a small town that is 2 hours east of Dakar. They work for the Catholic Caritas organization in rural development projects.

Josiah, Alex, and Rachel Brice are in Saint-Louis, three hours north of Dakar at a school of agriculture which operates vegetable and dairy farms.

Nick is in Mekhe, a village that is two and half hours north of Dakar. He works with an christian organization that offers positive activities (based on Bible stories, songs, etc) for kids during the summer holidays. Nick also tutors people who would like to improve their English.

Erin and Anne are both in a village near Richard-Toll, four and half hours northeast of Dakar. Erin works with a milk pasteurizing organization run by women. Anne works in the village clinic.

Thu, 8 Jul 2004

Service: Jenn and Rachel in the village Samba Dia

Jenn and Rachel both work at the village clinic in Samba Dia, in the southeast of Senegal. They help unpack medicines, assist nurses on call, and assist the medical team when it moves to surrounding villages.

Jenn and Rachel are pictured here with their respective host families.

Fri, 9 Jul 2004

Service: Marcos and Josh in Diourbel.

Marcos and Josh are in Diourbel working for WorldVision. They help in activities such as digging wells and planting food products. Josh and Marcos live in separate houses in the small town of Diourbel, three hours East of Dakar. They are pictured here with their respective host families.

Service: Becca, Rachel, Sareen, Kyle and Lindsay in Kaolack at APROFES

Becca, Rachel R., Lindsay, Sareen and Kyle are pictured here with their host families and in other situations. They work for APROFES-- Association pour la PROmotion de la FEmme Senegalaise. This is an association of women to promote their rights, and to make themselves financially independant. Becca, Rachel, Reimer, Sareen, Lindsay and Kyle go to nearby villages with teams to assist the training of women in the management of small credit unions. They have also gone to court in support of women who are victims of domestic violence. For example, APROFES recently sued a man who had beaten his wife. She spent more than a week hospitalized. Many APROFES women came to the trial. Their presence was noted, and the husband ended up going in jail for several months and paying a fine to his wife. In the past, APROFES had called for a 10,000 woman march in the small town of Kaolack to protest violence against women.

In addition to their work with APROFES, Kyle and Lindsay practice and play every afternoon with a local theater group that has made tours throughout Africa and Europe. This group is creating awareness about AIDS, the environment, and good citizenship.

Service: Tara and Karla in Bambey at CARITAS

Tara and Karla are in the town of Bambey, working for a catholic organization. They work in agricultural projects--chicken and onions farms. They live in separate homes, and are pictured here with their host families.

Sun, 11 Jul 2004

Service visit: Miriam, Katie, Sarah and Alburn in Thies

Miriam; Sarah and Alburn are doing fine in the town of Saint-Louis. Sarah works with a non-governemental organization clinic. She helps within the clinic and travels in villages with the clinic medical team. She is pictured here with her hostsisters.

Alburns and Katie work for MIS -Mission Inter Senegalaise- in the computer department. Their job is to enter datas from 2500 files on the office computer. This has been a job waiting to be done for years. The work of Alburn and Katie is very appreciated. Katie also work in the accounting department assisting them by entering finaicial datas in the computer. They are lictured here with their families. Alburn is pictured while working.

Miriam works for Centre Emmanuel, a place where people come to learn basic computer skills. She is pictured with her hostsister.

Service visit: Nick Loewens in the village Mekhe.

Nick works with a christian organization that helps kids use their summer hollidays very positively. They learn songs, Bible stories and do other related activities. Nick also tutores high school students who would like to improve their English. In the afternoon, he makes the Senegalese traditional tea for the family or goes to play soccer along with his hostbrother(missing on the picture).

Service visit: Anne Penner and Erin Williams in the village Ndombo - near RichardToll-

Anne work in the village clinic while Erin works at the women milk production organization. They live in the same family. They are pictured here with part -about half- of their hostfamily. Erin is pictured with two of her co-workers while Anne is pictured in front of the clinic where she works.

Service visit: Alex Miller; Josiah Metzler and Rachel Brice in Saint-Louis, Senegal.

Josiah, Rachel Brice and Alex Miller work at a school of Agriculture in the town of Saint-Louis. They have done a lot of cleaning work, planted beans, taken care of chickens and cows. They are pictured on their work sites and with their hostfamilies.

Wed, 21 Jul 2004

Students are back from service

After having spent about six weeks in different towns and villages of Dakar, our students got back on the July 19 all safe and in good spirit. Those who came first waited for those who were coming from far away. They made and served the traditional Senegalese tea while waiting and sharing experiences.

French test, individual interviews, and independant studies

On Tuesday 20, all students met at the Zadi's. We first had a debriefing. Each student has about 5 minutes to talk about his/her service assignment, family life, and to share some good memories about the time she/he spent on service. We took a 30 minutes pause, had the French exams, and went out for lunch in fastfood restaurant.

Following the individual interviews, student presented their inpendant studies. Each student was to research in deapth on a specific aspect of the Senegalese life and culture. The findings of these researches were presented to the group. Each student had 10 minute for the presentation which was followed by peers questions. These presentations took about 6 hours, but the students remainded very alert and captivated by each presentation. The presentation really explained, revealed, and showed mastery of many aspects of the Senegalese life and culture by our students. The topics of the presentations were, among others, Tales and Education in Traditional Senegal, The Life of Talibe (the disciple of Marabout who is a teacher of the Qoran), Batik Painting at Aprofes, Traditional Symbolism in Modern Painting in Senegal, Traditional Dances of Women in Senegalese Villages and their Performance Contexts, Fifteen Senegalese Recipes, , Ten Different Uses of the Baobab Tree, Folk Songs in Senegal, What Does it means to Give and to Receive in the Senegalese Context and Culture, Spirituality in Senegal, ect.

The individual final interviews revealed that have met the goals that they had set at the begining, and renegotiated throughout the term. Not only has their Language skills improve, but they have adjusted, understood, learnt many aspects of the Senegalese life and culture, and have mad lifelong friends.

Praise and glory be unto God for having made this learning possible!

Wed, 28 Jul 2004

Our 21 students have left Senegal on July 23 all safe and sound, and in a very good spirit. WE GIVE PRAISE AND GLORY TO THE LORD OUR GOD FOR HAVING ALLOWED EACH STUDENT, AND US, LEADERS, TO HAVE THIS REWARDING EXPERIENCE!!!

International Education Office
Kevin Koch
+1 (574) 535-7346